Continuing on the theme of garbage, recycling and what happens with all kinds of stuff when we're done with it, I thought I'd touch on upcycling.  I can honestly say I'm a huge fan of this movement.  It's not new by any stretch of the imagination.  Our grandparents and great grandparents upcycled things until they couldn't anymore, and I'm fairly certain that a few enterprising cavemen were making tools out of useless rocks before that.
If you're not familiar with the term upcycling, it's the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.  So many things that get tossed out everyday could be finding a new purpose.  You just need some imagination or the power of the internets for an instructable or two.  Here are a few ideas from everyday items you get started with.

  • Are you the proud owner of an ugly old light fixture?  Turn it into a terrarium!
  • Has your old grill given up the ghost, again?  Turn it into a planter.
  • Do you have kids?  Do you also have a 5 gallon bucket?  Make them a new swing.
  • If you're lucky enough to have gotten a cruzer titanium 250MB USB drive and broke it in your car door, it makes a great beer bottle opener. (Thanks Sam!)
  • Have a Kindle, e-reader or other tablet type gadget?  Make a cozy for it out of materials you already have, like a sweater and some material.
  • Have a pair or two of jeans that have worn spots or just don't fit?  Perhaps you also have a budding paleontologist and some household items like a paint brush, trowel, string, flashlight, etc?  Make them a Palentologist Tool Kit!
  • Make yourself a few produce bags from old t-shirts.
  • A rag rug from old sheets.
  • Potholders from your old socks.  I love this one, and honestly - there will be some serious justice in the world when I teach the boys to do this from the amount of socks they create holes in.
  • And lets not forget wine bottles.  Corks can be used for a bath mat, the bottles can be turned into tiki-torches, or glasses, or refilled if you're really, really lucky.  Which won't happen in Pennsyltucky, because it's against the law (check number 42)
What have you upcycled?
1 Response
  1. If you ever visit West Virginia, #42 isn't a problem. We'll just visit the still out back. ;)

Post a Comment